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Ian Sears (left) and Adam Sears (right) help pin stars on their father, Major General Mark Sears during his promotion ceremony at Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire on May 1, 2010. Sears, former Commander of the N.H.A.N.G. was recently promoted and is currently assigned as Deputy Commander for Mobilization and Reserve Affairs, United States Southern Command in Miami, Florida.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz)

Ian Sears (left) and Adam Sears (right) help pin stars on their father, Major General Mark Sears during his promotion ceremony at Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire on May 1, 2010. Sears, former Commander of the N.H.A.N.G. was recently promoted and is currently assigned as Deputy Commander for Mobilization and Reserve Affairs, United States Southern Command in Miami, Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz)

Master Sergeant William Bates and Command Sergeant Major Victor Rivera unfurl the general officer flag during the promotion ceremony for Major General Mark Sears (middle) at Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire on May 1, 2010.  Sears, former Commander of the N.H.A.N.G is currently assigned as Deputy Commander for Mobilization and Reserve Affairs, United States Southern Command in Miami, Florida.  Maj. Gen. William Reddel, Adjutant General N.H. National Guard (left), looks on.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz)

Master Sergeant William Bates and Command Sergeant Major Victor Rivera unfurl the general officer flag during the promotion ceremony for Major General Mark Sears (middle) at Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire on May 1, 2010. Sears, former Commander of the N.H.A.N.G is currently assigned as Deputy Commander for Mobilization and Reserve Affairs, United States Southern Command in Miami, Florida. Maj. Gen. William Reddel, Adjutant General N.H. National Guard (left), looks on. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz)

Pease ANGB -- Dover native, Mark F. Sears, was promoted to the rank of major general Saturday, May 1 here at Pease Air National Guard Base (ANGB), N.H.

During the promotion ceremony, Sears was presented with the Legion of Merit for his service while assigned as commander of the New Hampshire Air National Guard (NHANG). Sears also holds numerous other major military awards and decorations to include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal to name a few.

Sears appreciatively said, "Thank you all so much for everything you all have done. This has been and continues to be a wonderful organization, which allows all of us the opportunity to grow and develop."

Sears was born in Dover and still lives there today with his wife Donna. He attended Dover high school and obtained his commission in the U.S. Air Force through the ROTC program at UNH in 1976.

He spent twelve years in the active duty Air Force before becoming a traditional guardsman with the NHANG in 1988 as well as a full-time airline pilot with Delta Air Lines. Flying with Delta and the military, he has accumulated more than 12,000 flying hours operating a variety of military and civilian aircraft.

Holding several leadership positions within the NHANG unit, Sears has continued from being a KC-135R instructor pilot, a flight commander, Operations Support Flight Commander and State Headquarters Director of Operations, Assistant Adjutant General, Commander of the NHANG, to his current assignment as the Deputy Commander for Mobilization and Reserve Affairs, United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).

Major General William N. Reddel III, the Adjutant General of New Hampshire said, "This is another chapter in Marks life where he gets to do a lot of good for the National Guard and the Reserves this time, down at SOUTHCOM. This is the first time a guard member has been in that job to represent the National Guard and Reserves, that's a big deal and we should all be very proud."
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